Just down the road from where we were staying in Chengdu was a lovely little monastery. Very simple and elegant and recently restored, it was a lovely bit of peace and q from the brand-spanking new shopping area that now surrounds it.
However, it was really the outside walls that caught our attention. They all have a range of metal reliefs on them. Some nice, but fairly standard...
... but some of the detailing was less usual...
Another feature that we really noticed around Chengdu was the amount of public art.
Chengdu has a reputation amongst the Chinese as being a bit of a lazy place where people are more concerned about enjoying themselves than working hard! We certainly found plenty of evidence to back that up, indeed the locals seems quite proud of their reputation for laziness.
The centre of the city is Tianfu Square which is, as in may Chinese cities a big open area designed for those big mass rallies so beloved by the early communists. It is now quite a nice public space filled with fountains and police! It is over-looked by a huge (and I do mean huge) statue of Mao.
A short walk further on from Tianfu Square is Renmin Park, a perfect example about what I liked about Chengdu.
Chengdu has lots of interesting temples, as one might expect from somewhere that boasts such a large Tibetan population. However, what is cool (literally) about many of the temples in Chengdu compared to the rest of China is that they all seem to have lovely gardens attached to them. This makes them more than usually pleasant places to kill an hour or two.
The WuhouCi temple is a huge rambling affair dedicated to the Emperor Liu Bei, whose head is buried here and dates from the third century. These walls loop around and the mound inside them is where he is buried. The grounds are packed with interesting sculptures and statues such as these...
As with all classic Chinese gardens, water is a big feature. This is great because not only does it look nice, it has the practical benefits of cooling everything down a bit too in the heat of the summer.
Another of the temples that I particularly enjoyed a wander round was Qingyang Gong, if just for its peace and quiet. The main pavilion is octagonal and is dedicated to some guy riding his buffalo who can be found in the green goat market when his philosophy is understood? Not sure either, but that is what I read!
To end this little tour a Chengdu's temples is Wenshu. This is more of a monastery than a temple again, with lovely shaded gardens to wander and cool off in. Just past the entrance is an 11 story pagoda
Right outside are a few streets selling all sorts of tourist tat and several places to buy grub, which just completes the morning out as the little people were starting to moan!
I think it's fair to say that zoos in China do not have the best reputation. For example, you can buy chickens and even cows to let loose into the lion's cages and watch the feeding frenzy begin.
This panda centre is excellent. It is set in a large amount of woodland and specialises in breeding programmes.
All of the guidebooks say get there early while they are still eating otherwise they become lifeless and shy. This is certainly something we would echo. By the time we had walked round a bit the main adult panda area was much quieter than when first got there and they were filling their faces.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.